Thursday, April 24, 2014

Mission "Rescue Assam" -2

Its been four long years since I updated my blog. Four years in which my life has changed dramatically and so has everything around me. So , when I tried to pen down something today ,I wanted to express something about the idea of change and continuity. The safest way to do that was to return to familiar turf by revisiting an old blog post and trying to write a sequel to it. For the original blog post , please check it out here. Anyways, here is the sequel:

The three drunkards congregate at the parking lot, dressed in their best festive attire, now getting increasingly creased along with a few food stains here and there. The air is thick tonight and sweat trickles down their foreheads as they hold on to their cigarettes. The parking lot at times is the only space where married men of a certain age can inhale some fresh air. The social drinking and exchanging petty jokes can get suffocating at times. With a bottle of finest scotch down their throats ( “This is real scotch , not JD. JD is Tennessee whisky”), the three men now feels the need  to curse aloud  in their own tongue and simultaneously get drenched in hopeless nostalgia.

Drunkard-1 : “K*** aami axomor lora be..maal khamei..jimaan bura nohou kiyo” ("We are guys from Assam. We will drink, no matter how old we are")
Drunkard-2 : This is music to my ears. After so long..yes k***. Women will never understand what it feels to utter this magic word.
Drunkard-3 : Yes k*** , you can say “fuck” but you cannot say k***. Why not I ask? Why not k***?
Drunkard-2 : Because it is so down-market you know ( faking a convent accent)
Drunkard-1 : That is what pisses me off. We are losing our basic culture. Look at the teenagers in Guwahati now. Dressed like emos or whatever shit that is. Pathetic taste of music. In our times we had Deep Purple and Pink Floyd.
Drunkard-2 : I think they were in our father’s time to be more precise.
Drunkard-1 : Whatever. I mean music today sucks. Dressing sense sucks. Basically an entire generation has gone down the drain.
Drunkard-3 : Baad de be eibur kela. Vote dibi eibaar?( "Forget all these stuff , will you vote this time?")
Drunkard-1: Sob sur hoi. Kunuba dangor sur kunuba xoru.("They are all thieves, big ones and small")
Drunkard-2 : Toi kuntu surok vote dibi? 
Drunkard-1 : Moi vote di puwai nai. What difference does it make? Aase to Bangladeshi bur.Does our vote  count?
Drunkard-2 : O.K you won’t but will anyone in your family do?
Drunkard-1: The last time someone voted in our family was when my mother voted for Debojit Saha to win Sa-re-ga-ma.
( Loud laughter)
Drunkard-3 : I will tell you one thing with absolute certainty. Ajmal will be CM in 10 years time.
Drunkard- 1 : The day that happens I will quit Assam once and for all.
Drunkard-2 : Which reminds me of you remember that party we had 5 years back in that tiny  pigeonhole of yours in Mumbai. You made a loud proclamation that you are returning to Assam in another 10 years.
Drunkard-1 : I stick to it. Maybe another 10 years from now. We are all growing older. Family, kids, all know this shit.
Drunkard-2 : You can keep revising the deadline. Assam will remain the same and wait for you to do the rescue act.
Drunkard-3 : Don’t mock him man. Is it not comforting that some things will never change? Samujjwal is still a student leader. There are still 6 hour long power-cuts. The other day, 3 guys got admitted into GMC after a drunken brawl during a Zubeen concert. Continuity is the word. Yes. Some traditions must be carried forward.
Drunkard-1 : Absolutely ! Bulls-eye bro! Some things should never change. Once a khar , always a khar!
Drunkard-2 : Ab ki baar Modi sarkar!!
The three men burst into uncontrollable laughter , almost tripping over one another as they struggle to keep their balance. The night is getting younger every passing moment.

( The familiar Samsung default ringtone breaks the laughter)
Female voice : We are all waiting for you. Don't you understand that there are kids here who need to sleep early?
Drunkard-2  : We are coming upstairs. Why don’t you girls finish your wine first? We will all have the dessert together after that
Looking at the other two :I think the ladies are done with appreciating each other’s dresses.
The three men look at each other. In the tacit understanding that all married men have, no further words are exchanged. They quietly make their way to the elevator.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

The trailer for the comeback blog

“Mere bete aayenge..mere bete aayenge”
-Rakhi(in “Karan Arjun”)
For all those readers who have waited for my next blog with the
optimism of the widowed Rakhi in Karan Arjun, let me announce that
after taking a long sabbatical from the world of blogging,I have
decided to resurrect this blog from the ashes. At this highly
emotional moment , I would like to thank my readership (at last count it stood at 5) for the faith they have shown in my literary abilities. With your blessings, this digital wasteland will once again turn into the surreal landscape of a Jeetendra song sequence with pots exploding into multicolored smoke and Jeetuji in a pair of white sneakers singing “Taufa Taufa Taufa….laaya laaya laaya…(echo out effect)”.
I am back and I am here to stay.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Return of the Caveman

Recession does strange things to people.While for the majority its all gloom , for some rare ones it gives a glimmer of hope. On a sunday morning a few days back , as I lay on my back contemplating my bleak future , a ray of hope came to me in the form of a report on the sunday supplement of the Times of India.Like all other reports on the garishly colourful but extremely informative sunday supplement , this report too was spiritually and mentally uplifting , infusing in me the "Korbo ,Lorbo,Jeetbo Re" spirit .The report is a highly scientific study on the growing trend of men sporting a stubble or in some cases a full beard.The writer , while dissecting the trend under the context of current socio-economic conditions , quotes a particular psychologist, who has the following pearls of wisdom to offer
"During the times of recession ,women tend to prefer security over flamboyance and hence would prefer the caveman over the metro-sexual man".
Yes! Yes! (pumping my fist) The final nail on the coffin of the metro-sexual man has been stuck!O you metro-sexual male , with your manicures and pedicures , your designer clothes and "I am so cool attitude", O all you worshippers of the stammering king,get ready to get you waxed asses whipped by the Caveman cause the women of the species have finally discovered good taste.Things have come a full circle .The Caveman , with 2 of his shirt buttons open, exposing the amazonian rain forest on his chest and with a cigarette dangling from his lips, is back with a vengeance. As recession brings out the basic instincts of womankind , I can only hope we see the return of the real Indian male as epitomized by the great Mithunda in one of his classics -
"Dekhne mein bewda,
Daurne mein ghoda
Aur maarne mein haathoda"
The Caveman is here to stay ( and so is the recession!)

At this happy hour , my only lament is that recession should have occured 4 years back when I was an engineering student because that was the period when I had the closest resemblance to the Neanderthal man.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Haikus on blogger's block


A blinking black line,
Stares at me from fields of white
Mocks my empty mind.


With wine on my breath,
And fingers on my keyboard
To write or to sleep?


Boredom, mistaken
As zen state of nothingness
Creates bad haikus

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Thoughts on home

"Homeward bound
I wish I was
Homeward bound
Home, where my thought's escaping
Home, where my music's playing
Home, where my love life's waiting
Silently for me"
-Simon and Garfunkel ( "Homeward Bound")

After wishing to be homeward bound for what seemed like zillions of years , I finally took a flight to Guwahati after a tiresome assignment in Saudi Arabia.The idea of home evokes different emotions in different people.For me the idea of home has always been along the lines of the Simon and Garfunkel song above.It is a place which gives you the comfort of familiarity.The joy of sights , sounds and smells that you grew up with , the joy of laughing over the jokes you have heard countless times before , the pleasure of getting up late and then playing your music at full volume.Home also means eating fish for both lunch and dinner ("so sad he doesn't get to eat fish in Pune"), lunch invitations from long-forgotten acquaintances and getting updated on the extra-marital affairs of each and every male character in the the never-ending television soaps.It also means confronting questions about my marriage plans with my beer belly often acting as an indicator that here is someone pretty well "settled" and eating well and hence needs to get even more "settled" into a life of marital bliss.
Life in Assam at times seems to be caught in a time warp.Ofcourse there is Guwahati , which seems to be like a child on a growth spurt as a result of a hormone injection.However,stepping out of the chaos of Guwahati , there is always the sense that things havent changed at all.The roads are still the same ( atleast in lower Assam), there are still enough power cuts to keep the generator and inverter business running and the newspapers are still filled with reports of road mishaps and shootouts between extremist and Army jawans.
I was fortunate to make a trip to the extremely picturesque Manas National Park on the Indo-Bhutan border. Its a place of such breathtaking beauty that even if you have no interest in wildlife you will come back with memories you can cherish for a lifetime.Its one of those places which redefines your ideas of happiness and makes you feel like Christopher McCandless of the movie "Into the Wild".I also visited this quaint little Bhutanese town called Panbang which seems straight out of a picture postcard.It has made me even more certain that Bhutan will be the place I would like to settle down at some point in my life.I guess with my pot-belly , it would suit me to be a Buddhist monk as it wont take much effort for me to resemble the chubby monk which appears on the labels of all bottles of Old Monk rum.
As I write this , my mom is packing my bags for my return trip to Pune , stacking it with my favourite "boga pitha" - though its a different matter that all that will remain of it after making the long tortuous journey to Pune would be a mass of sweet white powder.Its time now to return to the big bad world..the world of formal shirts, swipe cards ,insipid food in tin boxes and stale canteen coffee...of getting up at 7 A.M and rummaging through my wardrobe for a pair of clean socks...of coming back home and discovering that your Kaamwali Bai has decided to take a casual leave for the 4th time in the same week..such is life!!

Monday, January 5, 2009

Poems by a fan of Neruda and Mithunda -3


I believe..
In the dampness on my pillow,
That still smells of the rain
On your wet hair.

I believe..
In the shattered window pane,
That trembles to the wind
On a cold February evening.

I believe..
In the creaky old bed,
Where we lay entwined
Like creepers on a moss covered wall.

I believe..
When there is nothing left to believe,
All that remains
And all that lingers
Is just emptiness, and
The sound of rain on my tin roof.

P.S - Happy New Year to all..i had an awesome booze filled new year bash at alibagh..discovered for the first time that women staring at my perfectly spherical beer belly makes me feel like a sex object.

Monday, November 3, 2008

1920 and a trip down the horror lane

Here is a piece of news which I believe is "sansani khej" and "hairat angrez" enough to be flashed as breaking news on the ticker at the bottom of the screen on India TV with the following words "Breaking news: Polka ne kiya apni blog ka update". Yes I am back. With my finger exersises confined to writing codes and trying to pick up rice with chopsticks in Taiwan, blogging was relegated to second division in my priority of things.However 5 months is a long time and since I have made no terminator style announcement like " I will be back" ( or the more desi " ro mat pagli mein laut ke aaonga" ) , I thought it would be wise to assure my readership ( if there is any ) that I am still very much alive.
Talking about being alive , I don't understand the entire concept of fear of death when being dead could be so much fun. Being a dedicated fan of Hindi horror , the idea of being a ghost with a green rubber mask who attacks buxom young ladies in bathrooms has always seemed an exciting after-life career option.All the credit however goes to the Ramsay brothers. Ever since the Wright brothers made aviation history , rarely has history seen a more determined band of brothers. For decades India's first family of horror has dedicated themselves to cause of desi horror thus giving birth to the most original and avant-garde genre of Hindi filmdom. For an entire generation of Indians growing up in the age of video cassettes (VCRs) , childhood memories would be incomplete without the old deserted haveli , the sex-starved voluptuous heroines who takes showers at midnight , the lecherous thakurs ( mostly Raja Murad) , the ghost in rubber masks and gloves and the ancient-looking watchman with the lantern.For those with finer sensibilities who might twitch their noses at the very mention of Ramsay Brothers , let me produce the following exhibit as a testimony to the fact that the Ramsay Brother's were always ahead of their times.

Scene: The Thakur lies in bed with his mistress.The "Bhatakti Atma" signals his arrival with the mandatory swinging open of the Haveli gates and lightning in the sky. The Thakur looks at his mistress and then utters what could well be called one of the most unforgetable dialogues in horror history " Yeh to pehle se hi chudi hui hai..kahi bhoot aake meri gaand na maar de".Thus its the Ramsay Brother's who brings out from the coffins the the taboo topic of ghost homesexuality ( or was it bisexuality?), proving that inhabitant of the netherworld also have varied sexual preferences as opposed to the Hollywood conservative portayal of ghost being always straight.
However with the advent of sattelite television and Ram Gopal Verma , the popularity of the Ramsay Brothers saw a sharp decline. The Bhatakti Atmas embraced the age of globalisation. They started wearing designer labels and even started speaking in English.Unable to cope with such an assault on my senses , I decided to avoid the entire genre.However , a few weeks back I saw a movie poster which i belived could help me regain my faith in Hindi horror. The poster depicted a young couple staring at a pretty white castle from a distance with the movie title "1920" written below it.Although the castle was way too opulent to remind me of the old Ramsay havelis , yet I felt maybe I should give this movie a try.Morevoer the director happened to be Vikram Bhatt , who is one of India's most original directors. Here original refers to being faithful to the original. Unlike several other Bollywood directors who try to improve upon the original with their own aritstic flourishes, Vikram Bhatt follows the original storyline through its crest and troughs. In the process he creates what electronic engineers might called a hi-fidelity output waveform though an amplifier.
The story of 1920 revolves around a young couple who moves into a beautiful deserted castle somewhere in India although the castle seems to be straight out of a European picture postcard.The husband plans to pull down the castle to make way for a hotel.His plans however irks the resident evil spirit , who has been living peacefully in that castle for decades.However , with no Mamta Banerjee or Arundhati Roy to support his cause, he has no option but to resort to terror tactics to hold on to his property.He unleashes a series of nocturnal ghostly acts on the hapless wife.The wife , clearly unaccustomed to Ramsay movies fails to decipher the ulterior motives of the resident evil spirit who was now getting as determined as Mamta Banerjee to stop the evil forces of rampant "hotel-ization".Meanwhile , the wife befriends a father in the neighbourhood church who quite happily agrees to rescue the damsel in distress. Ofcourse the father has a French beard which is compulsory for all Christian characters in Hindi films.What follows can be called a cover version of "The Exorcist" ( Bollywood prefers calling it inspiration).As events unfold we discover that the ghost , once a rebel who looked an emaciated version of Mangal Pandey was hanged inside the castle for his rebellious behaviour.After that he joins the Bajrang Dal which was the only recourse left for rebels like him ( not mentioned in the film).Now faced with the imminent danger of losing his property , he does what any self-respecting ghost must do. He enters the body of our pretty young heroine ( i mean his soul does) .This act gives rise to bouts of hysterical behaviour in the otherwise sedate lady.( which is very obvious when the soul of a Bajrang Dal activist enters the body of a convent educated page-3 model).At this moment of crisis enters our priest from the neighbourhood church , armed with the Cross , Holy water, Holy Bible and all other paraphernelia needed for the exorcism.Meanwhile , our rebel makes it known to the father that he will not take things lying down by painstakingly painting a goathead on the church walls.For those who have not grown up on death metal , a goathead inscribed in a pentagon is the symbol of satan. However to my dissapointment , the ghost refrains from belting out " The number of the Beast" from the top of the church.
So the battleground is ready.The audience awaits with bated breath as the clash of the titans ensues- the "Bajrangi" Atma versus The Exorcist. The Father , who has probably watched a pirated version of the Exorcist , has the initial upperhand.However our Bajrangi fights back , clearly pissed off at the prospect of a Christian priest trying to tame a Hindu ghost and that too a former rebel.As the hapless husband watches his dear wife performing gravity-defying Matrix-style acrobatics , our exorcist finally concedes defeat after being stabbed with a knife.At this moment , with both me and my roomate collectively cheering on the husband with "come on man..get out your Hanuman can do it!!", the husband finally gets into the act. Holding on to his wife with all his might and by chanting the Hanuman Chalisa , he finally regains control of his wife and our Bajrangi soul decides to leave the body of the heroine and move on to greener pastures ( maybe a Lok Sabha BJP ticket from Orissa).

Altough I was a bit dissapointed that there was no lovemaking scene between the husband and his possesed wife ( can it be called a threesome?), i must admit "1920" hepled me regain my faith in the Hindi horror genre. Hindi horror is trully alive and kicking ( our brains)!!